National Assisted Living Week

September 19th, 2016 by Attorney Roger Weinberg

The National Center for Assisted Living, an industry group representing those owning assisted living facilities, has a National Assisted Living Week every year. This year it’s September 11-17, with the theme “Keep Connected,” in hopes that those living and working in these facilities can be made more aware of each other and encouraging residents’ use of technology to keep in touch with others.

Assisted living facilities are not intended to provide the level of care that nursing homes do. These facilities may be a good choice for those who can’t live safely by themselves and need help with activities of daily living (ADL), such as toileting, dressing, feeding, bathing, personal hygiene, etc.

These facilities are licensed and regulated by the state. They have three levels of care, and each potential resident is assessed upon admission. As the need for care increases, the level goes up, as does the cost. A common danger posed by unscrupulous assisted living facilities seeking more residents is to accept those whose needs are greater than the facility’s ability to care for them.

Though there are many well-run assisted living facilities in Maryland, there are also some very poorly managed and staffed assisted living facilities. If residents can better stay in touch with others and if their communities can get more involved with them, perhaps with more eyes and ears in these facilities problems of abuse the neglect can be detected and addressed earlier than later.

Though cases of resident abuse and neglect at nursing homes get more press, they occur at assisted living facilities as well.

  • The manager of an unlicensed assisted living facility in Towson was arrested on federal and state charges in February after two vulnerable senior citizens were left alone at night. The charges include aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, four counts of elder abuse and one count of operating an unlicensed assisted living facility. In December, firefighters came to the facility after neighbors called in a fire alarm going off at the location. They found two people locked inside — an 80-year-old man and a comatose 82-year-old woman tied to a bed. Personal information of at least three residents was allegedly used without permission to open credit card accounts used to make at least $59,000 in purchases. The facility’s license was revoked last September.
  • A 58-year-old cook at a Louisiana assisted living facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was arrested in August, accused of raping a 78-year-old female resident. He faces a first-degree rape charge.
  • A moratorium on new admissions or re-admissions at an assisted living facility in Florida has been put in place because of two instances in December where a cook was accused of behaving inappropriately with a resident. The facility’s administrator is accused of not documenting or investigating allegations about his behavior and for taking no action to ensure residents were kept safe. The employee has been fired for unrelated reasons.
  • Alarms failed to go off when an 80-year-old dementia patient pushed open the door and walked out of a South Carolina assisted living facility in May. She was later found dead in a nearby marsh. In July, police found the remains of a 90-year-old a resident of another South Carolina assisted living facility. She walked away from it and was killed by an alligator.

If you or a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at a Maryland assisted living facility, we can help you address the situation and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. At the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, you’ll find compassionate support and experienced advocates to help your family through the tough times. Call 410-825-3161 today to schedule a free consultation.

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